Scottish Labour will oppose a second independence referendum in its Holyrood election campaign next year, leader Richard Leonard has announced.
The party’s executive committee has instead agreed to campaign for a programme of “home rule, devolution and democratic advance” within the UK.
It said after Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic, Scotland did not need “more constitutional turmoil”.
Mr Leonard said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the terms of the constitutional debate in Scotland.
“We believe that the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections must be about electing a Government and a Parliament that will dedicate its entire focus to rebuilding Scotland’s economy, public services and communities after the devastating impact of Covid-19.
“That work must be the focus of the next Scottish Government and so we will be going into that election in 2021 with a Scottish Labour Party position that is opposed to a second referendum.”
Every analysis of the 2019 general election shows the Scottish public were unclear as to the Labour Party’s position on the constitution. That ends today with a firm policy statement against independence and a second referendum but for radical reform.https://t.co/wYsJRJOQGt
— Ian Murray MP (@IanMurrayMP) June 6, 2020
He added: “Scottish Labour wants to unite the country by offering a way forward which proposes change, and so rejects the status quo, but rejects as well the SNP’s programme for deep cuts in a separate Scotland.”
SNP depute leader Keith Brown said there was “growing and majority” support for independence.
He said: “The Scottish Labour Party’s top brass aren’t just out of touch with the electorate, though, they are blatantly ignoring their own members and politicians who have publicly backed Scotland’s right to choose a better future.
“No wonder support for the Labour party has totally collapsed in Scotland and they have lost the trust of voters.”